The Devil’s Lieutenant: hell’s hitman

I love a good murder, me. And there’s plenty of death, despair and destruction in this supernatural noir – suicide, murder, incest, betrayal and a bullet through the brainpan all come barrelling off the page within the opening chapters. ‘The Devil’s Lieutenant’ combines the hardboiled grit of a bare-knuckle brawl with an intriguing twist into…

Collecting The Dead: stalking a serial killer

  Magnus ‘Steps’ Craig is no ordinary federal investigator. He’s a tracker par excellence, a man who can zero in on criminals with uncanny accuracy. And that’s because he brings a touch of the paranormal to the party; a sixth sense, an ability to see people’s auras and the ‘shine’ they leave behind. If that…

Short stabs: quick thrillers and scary stories

There are moments when a full-length novel is just too much to get to grips with. So here are a few rapid reads which we’ve enjoyed recently, from contract killers to urban assassins, serial psychos to sibling rivalry, and a couple of stories with a subtle hint of the supernatural. Compact and carefully crafted, each…

Second Grave: sassy paranormal investigations

This is the second in the ‘grave’ series, featuring PI and not-so-grim reaper Charley and her sizeable sidekick, Cookie. It’s a far-from-serious, occasionally spicy (but nothing X-rated) gumshoe story with a side dish of supernatural sprinkles. Set in the USA roundabout now, the story revolves around an ongoing plot with Charley’s lifetime protector and would-be…

Blue Blazes: modern urban fantasy meets old-time evil

Mookie Pearl is a great creation, a fictional protagonist who just for once isn’t gifted, handsome, wise-cracking or a wizard. He’s an ugly, pug-faced lunk (albeit an unusually intelligent lunk) who breaks heads and solves problems with blunt instruments as a mob enforcer. He’s a heavyweight of the underworld – and in this universe, a…

The Strain: scary vampires, not sparkly ones

There’s very little new in The Strain but it’s a well put together horror romp which successfully revitalises an old genre. Obviously intended to be adapted for the screen (it’s written by a film director after all, and has indeed been transformed into a TV series), this novel re-treads an old story in the modern…